Monday, September 7, 2015

Freezer Wraps: For Long-Term Need and Small Appetities

I want to tell you a sad story.  Once there were loving parents (us) who let their child and teen go spend three weeks of the summer with their adoring grandparents.  The grandchildren were happy.  The grandparents were thrilled.  The mother and the best friend of the teenager were despondent.  So they decided to do a service project to cheer up. 

Zoey, my daughter’s best friend is one of the teens in my life.  They are all awesome but she has a special place in my heart and when she came up to me this summer while my girl was gone and asked when we could make food for our favorite elderly couple again, I was thrilled.  She’s an awesome kid with a really compassionate heart.  And besides, who doesn’t love to cook?!

The last time we did this, we made lasagna.  Yum.  Homemade lasagna is ridiculous good and calorically dense an important consideration since our friend’s appetites are small and their caloric needs high (the exact opposite of my family’s needs!).  But we gave them more than they could eat. 

So it was time for an alternate plan!

We decided to make mexican wraps.  The benefit of these little guys is that we could make 3 dozen, wrap them individually in aluminum foil and then our friends could pull them out whenever they wanted.  

I wanted to share the method here for you today because I suspect there may be situations in your life too where you need to provide small but frequent portions over a period of several months.  Say for example a single friend breaks a leg.  She won’t be able to cook for herself for 6 weeks.  A casserole is great but its more than she can eat and only feeds her for a short period of time.  On the other hand a dozen of these will give her a meal a week with no waste for the whole six weeks.  3 dozen would feed a family of 3 once a week for 6 weeks!  And trust me they were a lot easier than making 6 casseroles!  These are also gluten free as long as you choose corn tortillas.

On to the recipe.

I’m happy to share with you exactly how we made ours but I suspect that you have a favorite wrap filling at your house and it would work just as well with a single caveat.  It needs to be pasty and thick.  A runny filling or one that crumbles won’t work as well. We snuck some corn and carrots in our Mexican rice.  Vegetables are always good.

Ingredients (for 3 dozen wraps)

3 cups cooked black beans drained
3 cups cooked Mexican rice 
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 cup finely chopped onion 
1 teaspoon cumin 
1/2 cup of salsa
1/2 pound chorizo
1 pound ground pork

36 corn tortillas

In a giant bowl mix the first six ingredients together.  
Put both kinds of meat in a skillet and fry them together, scrambling the meat as you go.
Add it into the giant bowl and stir well.  
Taste.  (My chorizo, black beans and rice were already salty so when I combined them I did not need more salt.  If your ingredients were less salty or unsalted you will need to season here.)

Add a large spoonful to each corn tortilla.  

Wrap like a soft taco.  

Place on a sheet of aluminum foil, wrapping tightly and sealing the edges.  
Place 12 of these in freezer bag and freeze. 

Inside each bag place a slip of paper with these instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350.
Place frozen wraps on sheet pan. (Don’t remove foil)
Cook for around 30 minutes. 

Notes:  Corn tortillas can be difficult to work with.  They like to crack and crumble.  You could fry them in oil to solve this problem or warm them on a dry griddle.  Otherwise if your recipients don’t mind the gluten you can simply use small flour tortillas.  

Food is one of the good gifts of God.  It is one of the gifts we can share with people we care about not only to make their life easier but to express our love.  And if you can get a warm-hearted and lovely young lady to help you do it, all the better!



  1. This recipe and method of preserving the cooked food sounds delicious and handy too. But what I have found lately is that many elderly people are not able to eat the spicy food--especially anything with black pepper in it. Then too there are those with high blood sugar--and the list goes on. Do you have some alternate recipes for those I describe?

  2. Beth, I'm with you! Most of the elderly folks I know need really bland food. I was really surprised that for the two appetites we were feeding the spicy/greasier the better!
    I have found that this is a pretty flexible recipe. My family likes shredded chicken breast, ranch dressing and mild salsa as an alternative for bland eaters (for really bland eaters you would want to use tomato sauce). If you choose a low-fat ranch, you'll have a recipe that is suitable for diabetics. If their digestive systems can bear beans a nice mild vegan alternative is to mix black beans or pintos into homemade Mexican rice. My recipe is similar to this one ( leaving out the peppers and adding corn and carrots for extra flavor and nutrition.
    A third alternative would be to make the recipe above substituting ground turkey for the pork and chorizo and tomato sauce/paste for the salsa. You might need to reduce the cumin and onions as well.
    May the people in your life be blessed by your love, concern and food!

  3. This sounds delicious! I would use beef for our family and I can see us gobbling them up! :) Thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

  4. Enjoyed meeting and spending a little time with Zoey this summer.

  5. Meatloaf baked in muffin pans can then be frozen separately to pull out one or two (for a single person or a couple). Cabbage pockets also do well for pulling out one or two at a time (cook hamburger meat, cabbage, and any optional seasoning. Use as fillings in Rhodes rolls. They can go from freezer straight to microwave and reheat for about 2 min. with no need to thaw.) The original called for sausage and onions and quite a bit of seasoning, including pepper, but I can't handle the spices and have allergies, but the "blanded-down" version still tastes great. Just sharing a couple more ideas on the same theme as a kind of "thank you", "good job" to your article. --Carrel